A graphic designer (also known as a graphic artist and communication designer) is a professional within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography or motion graphics to create a piece of design. A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed or electronic media, such as brochures and advertising. They are also sometimes responsible for typesetting, illustration and web design, or take a teaching position, although these specialties may be assigned to specialists in various graphic design occupations. A core responsibility of the designer’s job is to present information in a way that is both accessible and aesthetic.
While many graphic designers obtain degrees in college (and occasionally certificates from accredited trade schools) a degree is usually – though not always – considered essential for a graphic design position. After a career history has been established, the graphic designer’s experience and number of years in the business are heavily considered as the primary qualifications. A portfolio, which is the primary method for demonstrating these qualifications, is usually required to be shown at job interviews, and is constantly developed throughout a designer’s career.
In terms of skills, a graphic designer should be able to work with multiple software programs, as relevant to his/her job function, such as those in Adobe Creative Suite products, and, depending on what media the designer is working in, should understand HTML and other programming languages to design websites, and/or should understand the processes involved in printing to be able to produce press-ready artwork.
The term graphic design can refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines which focus on visual communication and presentation. Various methods are used to create and combine symbols, images and/or words to create a visual representation of ideas and messages. A graphic designer may use typography, visual arts and page layout techniques to produce the final result. Graphic design often refers to both the process (designing) by which the communication is created and the products (designs) which are generated.
Common uses of graphic design include magazines, advertisements, product packaging and web design. For example, a product package might include a logo or other artwork, organized text and pure design elements such as shapes and color which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements.